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Elk Grove Village, IL, USA

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Custom Electrical Enclosure Gaskets

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The function of industrial electrical enclosure gaskets is to safeguard electronic components against dust, moisture, liquids, and rain.

Electrical enclosure gaskets are ideal for applications that require a seal to protect the internal components of many electronic products. Gaskets are primarily used to provide a tight seal between two surfaces or objects, but they can achieve much more than that. The applications for gaskets are endless, and they are without a doubt a major factor in the performance of the end product.

Electrical enclosure gaskets will provide a tight seal for both indoor and outdoor applications. For indoor applications, a gasket can seal against dust, debris, and moisture. Outdoor seals are completely different. For some products, these enclosure gaskets have to stand up to elements such as rain, snow, wind, and the sun. We work with a variety of materials that will fit the specs of your application’s requirements. Pressure Sensitive Adhesive can be applied to all products that require the gasket to bond to a substrate.

Electrical enclosures have specific sets of standards for seals that are used in industrial, electrical, and electronic applications to keep in what’s meant to be in and keep out what’s meant to be out. These standards include: NEMA, UL, IEC, and CSA.

LONG-TERM SEALING EFFECTIVENESS IN ELECTRICAL ENCLOSURE GASKETS

These enclosures provide long-term protection for the sensitive electronics contained inside, and can be found both indoors and outdoors.

Electrical enclosure gaskets must pass the following requirements:

  • Must pass rugged weather-ability and perform over a broad temperature range
  • Resist compression set which would compromise the electrical components inside the unit
  • Required to comply with UL Enclosure Ratings (UL JMST2 & UL JMLU2)

WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH A LEAKING GASKET OR SEAL?

Significant stress relaxation can result in compromised sealing if a gasket no longer fills a gap with sufficient force. Greater force retention helps keep a consistent closure force on a door or panel. Compression set resistance becomes even more critical when a gasket is exposed to compression cycling. If a gasket takes a significant compression set, sealing may be compromised as a result of decreased thickness. This loss of thickness normally takes place over time, and is not always evident during initial testing.

Additional risks include:

  • Cost of replacement gaskets and/or maintenance
  • Possible loss of enclosure rating (UL specific)
  • Cost of damaged components in an enclosure
  • Indirect damage to the systems controlled by damaged components
  • Reputation of the enclosure manufacturer

SELECTING THE RIGHT MATERIALS FOR CUSTOM ELECTRICAL ENCLOSURE GASKETS

Understanding the key requirements in an application is critical when selecting the right material. Many different application requirements help guide designers to the best material options.

These application requirements include:

  • Temperature exposure: What temperature will the material reach and for how long?
  • UV/Ozone resistance: Will the material be directly exposed?
  • Flame resistance: Industry recognized flame rating required such as UL-V0, UL-HBF, or MVSS-302
  • Chemical resistance: Will the material contact chemicals or fluids that could cause deterioration?
  • Outgassing: Could material outgassing be detrimental to components or result in lens fogging?
  • Gap spacing: What is the thickness range of the gap?
  • Gasket size: Are there limitations on gasket format (die-cut vs. stripping)?
  • Gasket function: Sealing liquids, solids or air; mitigate shock or vibration; provide a spring force
  • Color: Identify standard and nonstandard offerings
  • Budgetary considerations: Understand cost vs. performance

Common materials used for custom Electrical Enclosure Gaskets:

  • Neoprene
  • Closed Cell Sponge
  • Cellular Urethane
  • EPDM (Outdoor)
  • Vinyl Nitrile
  • PVC
  • Polyethylene
  • PORON® Polyurethane
  • BISCO® Silicone

CREATING A BOND USING PRESSURE SENSITIVE ADHESIVES

Adhesives are commonly used in conjunction with gaskets and seals. Whether the purpose is to form a structural bond, act as a manufacturing aid, or improve the sealing performance of an irregular surface, choosing the best adhesive system for an application is important. Pressure Sensitive Adhesives (PSAs) are the most common adhesive types for gaskets. Typically supplied on the gasket, the assembler then removes a release liner to press-fit the gasket in place.

Available PSA’s include:

  • Acrylic – Adheres well to most gasketing materials and surfaces while offering a good operating temperature range (-50°F/-46ºC to +350°F/+177ºC intermittent)
  • Silicone – Adheres well to silicone elastomers and fair to other surfaces. Silicone adhesives offer the widest operating temperature range (-80°F/-62ºC to +450°F/+232ºC), but are also the highest cost.
  • Rubber based – For general use applications, typically lower performance and lower cost. Typical intermittent operating temperature range of (+50°F/10ºC to +150°F/10ºC).

Some PSAs are produced on a support carrier, which offers dimensional stability. This helps reduce or eliminate gasket stretching during manufacturing and assembly, while aiding in the removal of kiss cut gaskets from a release liner.

Key considerations when selecting a PSA type include:

  • Adhesion properties – to the gasket and mating surface
  • Temperature capabilities – cold and heat exposure
  • Chemical compatibility
  • UV resistance
  • Special properties – electrically/thermally conductive, flame retardant
  • Cost

 

SRP will work with your team to develop a cost-effective, high quality solution for all of your enclosure gasket needs. Our manufacturing facility is set up for any size production run. If material samples or rapid prototyping services are required, we will be more than happy to serve you in the best way we can. Visit our Sheet Rubber, Foam, and Sponge pages for more information regarding specific materials.

By employing specialized equipment and providing full-service solutions—from design assistance and prototyping, to acquiring and working with cutting-edge, preferred materials—SRP stands out as a leader in custom gasket fabrication and die and dieless cutting services.

SRP’s dedicated engineers are available to provide their expertise to assist you with your next project and help you obtain top-quality materials for parts and components that meet your exact specifications.

For more information you can reach SRP at info@srpco.com or 847-593-5630.